Rob and Rumenta Black. (Brilio/Rob Black)
The hostel is still unfinished, but once it's done, it will have pepper farm tours and free bicycle hire for you to enjoy!Krystal Buckle 17 July 2017 13:20
Rob and Rumenta Black have been visiting Belitung Island for years. Each time they return, a new hotel is being built.
Based in South Jakarta, the couple are in the process of creating a space for tourists that offers more than just a sterile hotel room. The Belitung Backpackers Hostel aims to provide a social, informative space equipped with modern facilities and travel tips from locals and staff in the know. “Tourism on the island is increasing. For many, Bali and Lombok have become too commercial, backpackers want to see the real Indonesia,” Rob said to Brilio.
The hostel will be the first of its kind to open on the island. “We hope to get some momentum going and generate higher numbers of tourists, hopefully putting us on the backpacker route.”
Tanjung Tinggi, one of Belitung’s main tourist attractions is a mere ten kilometres south of the hostel. The beach is famous for its role in Laskar Pelangi, Indonesia’s highest grossing film in box office history.
For those interested in environmental conservation and snorkeling through an underwater garden, a coral regeneration program is currently underway on one of the many islands dotted around Belitung. Snorkeling day trips can be arranged through the hostel, costing approximately Rp 500,000 to rent a boat that seats 12-30 people.
Apart from island hopping, Belitung offers a range of activities to suit different tastes. Rob and Rumenta’s hostel plans to provide “informative activities like pepper farm, butterfly and coffee tours to the other side of the island.” Backpackers can also visit traditional fishing villages, watch boat building or relax on the waterfront property with fresh coconut juice.
Cars and motorbikes can be rented on the island, however the hostel will provide free bicycle hire for its guests. As for eating out, Rob has shared a well-kept secret after years of visiting the island himself. “Happy Bakery- it’s a popular place to eat with the locals, but the tourists just haven’t discovered it yet.”
Belitung Backpackers Hostel will open early September.